Fewer Filipinos expect drop in income – survey

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Fewer Filipinos expect drop in income â survey
Filipinos flock to Divisoria in Manila to shop.
Edd Gumban

Amid pandemic

MANILA, Philippines — Fewer consumers expect their income to decline in the future due to the pandemic, according to a survey from information and insights company TransUnion.

A study by TransUnion Philippines Consumer Pulse for the fourth quarter of 2021 showed 46 percent of consumers expect their household income to decrease due to the pandemic, down eight percentage points from the third quarter.

TransUnion said vaccinations are seen as a contributing factor to the growing optimistic economic outlook, with fully vaccinated households expecting less negative impact on the future.

The study, conducted from Nov.1 to 8 of last year, surveyed 1,089 adults in the country to see the financial impact of COVID on consumers.

The study showed 59 percent of the respondents reported a decline in their income due to the pandemic in the fourth quarter, down from the 64 percent who saw a decrease in income in the previous quarter.

More than half or 52 percent of the respondents also said they cut back on spending in the last three months.

About 46 percent of the respondents said they expect to miss at least one of their current bills and loans in full.

Personal loans (37 percent), mortgages and home loans (33 percent), and credit cards (27 percent) emerged as the top bills and loans consumers would not be able to pay.

In terms of plans to pay current bills or loans, 45 percent said they would make partial payments, and 42 percent would use their savings.

Over half or 52 percent of the respondents believe access to credit is important to achieve financial goals, but only 35 percent said they have sufficient access to lending.

The study showed 44 percent of the respondents intend to apply for credit this year.

More than 93 percent said they believe monitoring credit is important, with 69 percent monitoring it at least once a month.

When it comes to purchasing behavior, 53 percent said the number of online transactions they make will remain the same or increase a little.

Digital fraud, however, remains a concern with 95 percent of consumers saying they are worried about being victimized during the 2021 holiday season.

Half of the respondents said they have been targets of a digital fraud attempt in the last three months, with millennials and Gen X the most targeted at 54 percent and 52 percent, respectively.

The most common fraud schemes targeting consumers are phishing (44 percent), and third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail sites (39 percent) across the demographics surveyed.

“From financial health to the disruptions in daily living, the lives of millions of Filipinos have drastically changed and continue to change due to COVID-19,” TransUnion Philippines president and chief executive officer Pia Arellano said.

“As an ongoing study, TransUnion Philippines continuously strives to develop a comprehensive understanding of the financial impacts of the pandemic as well as to harness the information to better inform consumers, businesses and other stakeholder decisions as the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives,” she said.


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